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EAC Health Services Defence Experts convene in Rwanda

Kigali, 19 February 2018

A team of East African Community (EAC) Defence Experts Working Group (DEWG) in Health Services are meeting in Kigali to discuss lasting solutions in the health sector amongst EAC Defence Forces. The EAC Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence directed the EAC Secretariat to convene a DEWG to benchmark the Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) medical simulation Centre and develop a standard protocol for management of health conditions in the EAC Armed Forces.

The five days meeting started on Monday 19 February 2018 with a tour to the RMH and its International Trauma Life Support Training Simulation Centre (ITLS). The centre serves as a Pre and post deployment training Centre for the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions. 

According to Col Dr Jean Paul Bitega, the Commandant of RMH, the meeting of EAC Armed Forces medical experts will help in the harmonisation of EAC health services in the military.

“The aim of this meeting is to harmonise the EAC way of delivering health services to the level that any patient treated in Rwanda is eligible to receive the same treatment in Uganda or elsewhere in EAC without any difference”.

The Representative of the EAC Secretariat, Brig Gen Kansigazi Tumusiime reiterated in the same line that the meeting was convened in Rwanda to specifically address medical challenges affecting EAC defence forces. 

“What we have seen in Rwanda is a very positive achievement by the Rwandan military, they have shown us how post traumatic matters can be handled. When EAC Member States unite they would be able to handle many health issues together. Rwanda has given us a way forward, we are very glad for the people of Rwanda, they have been able to break through, they are able now to address traumatic matters in their military.”

The meeting due to conclude on Friday 23 February 2018, is conducted in accordance with Article 2 of the EAC Protocol on cooperation in Defence Affairs.